Although laws against marijuana possession have become less strict in Florida and other parts of the U.S. in recent years, possessing large amounts or running an illegal growing operation can still carry serious penalties.
Law enforcement in Florida arrested a 79 year old man who had millions of dollars worth of illegal marijuana.
Lake County man was stealing power to grow millions of dollars worth of Marijuana
The arrest is considered to be one of the largest illegal drug operations in the history of the area in Lake County, Florida. Local police had received a tip about a possible illegal growing operation in Clermont on Florida Boys Ranch Road. When they arrived at the property, they spoke with an elderly man. As they were speaking with him, the officers noticed a strong smell of marijuana and materials that would indicate a cultivation operation was taking place in the area. They obtained a search warrant a short time later.
On various parts of the property there were large truck trailers that had been converted into grow houses. By the end of their search, police had found over 300 pounds of marijuana that was processed and ready for sale, two guns, equipment to harvest marijuana plants, and over 700 whole plants. The total value of the marijuana that was seized is around $2.3 million. The local power company also found that a large amount of power was being stolen from them to bring energy to trailers on the property.
The suspect is facing criminal charges related to grand theft, trafficking marijuana, and possession of a place used for manufacturing controlled substances. The suspect’s brother was also on the property around the time law enforcement first arrived, but fled on foot before he could be apprehended and remains at large. Police say the two men are Colombian nationals who may have ties to other illegal drug trades throughout Florida.
Defending against drug charges
Crimes for possession and trafficking of drugs in large amounts are serious because the defendant usually will face several years in jail if convicted. Trafficking is always a felony charge, and possession of any drug that is considered a larger amount than what is necessary for personal use also results in severe penalties.
A criminal defense lawyer will make sure that the state has collected all of the evidence properly through a valid search warrant. If law enforcement made any mistakes that violate a suspect’s constitutional rights, the evidence must be excluded from the trial. There may be other issues as well that can work in a defendant’s favor.
Get help from an Orlando criminal defense lawyer
It is possible to speak with a defense attorney after you have been charged with any crime. To learn more about how to defend against the state’s charges, contact:
390 N. Orange Ave., Suite 2300, Orlando, FL 32801